With every motorshow comes a chance to get up close and personal with new metal, none of which are more exciting than crazy concept vehicles that spit in the face of all automotive logic. Here’s our pick of the bunch from Frankfurt Motor Show 2015.
Porsche Mission E
You can almost imagine the board meeting that preceded the Mission E’s creation. “Here’s an idea, chaps,” Porsche’s execs are likely to have said. “Let’s do something like that there Tesla Model S.” And then it was so. The Mission E will leave a 911 for dead in a drag race, carries four occupants, and makes the 918 Spyder look like a fuel-chugging Hummer in comparison.
When you’re hot hooning around with your chums, you can take delight in the hologrpahic, gesture-sensitive dashboard, which lets you grab icons as they float around in front of you. Or try out the fancy eyeball-tracking menu selection system. Or just stare at it all day in awe. Good job, Porsche.
Acceleration: 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds
Range: 300+ miles
Holographic dashboards: Oh yes
Likelihood of production: Inevitable, surely
Honda Project 2&4
This bike-inspired track weapon looks the absolute business thanks to its open wheels, flat, skateboard-inspired body and general aura of batshit craziness. We can’t think of a car we want to drive more at this point.
That ‘floating seat’ idea is pure genius. It almost doesn’t matter how fast this car is, because the thought of having your bum hovering inches from the tarmac at any speed is enough to get your adrenalin pumping – as is the thought of being hit by another vehicle while driving one. At least death would be quick and painless. But what a way to go.
Engine: 999cc V4 four-stroke
Power: 210bhp at 13,000rpm
Potential for injury: Great
Likelihood of production: Don’t hold your breath
Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo
With the Veyron reaching the end of its production run, it’s time for Bugatti to turn its attentions to a successor. Rather than show off its new creation in its finished form, however, the firm chose to bless us with the Vision Gran Turismo, which drops subtle hints as to what the next production Bugatti will look like. It looks awesome, sure, but here’s hoping the final product looks a little less… shouty.
Huge-ass wing: Check
Driveable in Gran Turismo 6: Check
Maddest Gran Turismo concept ever: See below
Likelihood of production: None
Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo
This is what happens when you ask car designers to constantly churn out boring hatchbacks like the i20. Eventually they snap, lock themselves in a room and re-emerge with a car so bonkers it almost beggars belief.
Sadly, the N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo will only exist in the digital world of Gran Turismo, which is a crying shame. Unless, of course, the company pulls a major shock and decides to enter Le Mans. Still, at least it heralds the arrival of Hyundai’s performance-oriented N sub-brand, which will work as a kind of equivalent to AMG, M and the like.
Power: 872 hydrogen-fed horses
Electric motors: One at each wheel
Likelihood of production: Do you even have to ask?
Mercedes Concept IAA
One of the weirdest concepts we’ve seen in a long, long time, actually. The Concept IAA is named after the Frankfurt Motor Show’s official name (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung), but here the acronym stands for Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile.
Indeed it is. The Concept IAA has transforming body parts that extend, retract or otherwise morph in order to make it slip more efficiently through the air. Above 50mph, the rear bumper section extends by well over a foot (like a weird metal prolapse), the wheel rims flatten, and a slat at the front retracts, all of which drops its drag coefficient to a slippery 0.19cd. That, in turn, reduces CO2 emissions and fuel use, especially when the vehicle is driven at speed.
Propulsion system: Plug-in hybrid
Likelihood of production: Sure. Right after Merc’s pig-shaped flying car
Nissan’s Z cars (the current 370Z, the 350Z before it etc.) have, for as long as we can remember, been low-slung, aggressive things that are as fun as they are impractical. With the Gripz, Nissan aims to extend the Z line to include a comfortable, spacious crossover. Sounds like blasphemy, we think you’ll agree.
This Sports Crossover concept is loosely based on the old Datsun 240Z, rally car that won the East African Safari Rally in 1971. In profile it draws inspiration from the 350Z and 370Z, though on huge wheels, giving it a stance not dissimilar to the Juke. Power comes from a version of Nissan’s PureDrive Hybrid system, which incorporates a petrol system acting as a range extender, and a battery sending power to electric motors that drive all four wheels.
We’re not sure how fast it is, or whether Nissan will actually build it, but we wouldn’t be too upset if this design study went no further. This is not a Z, people.
Why it exists: Who knows
Propulsion: Electric with range extender
Likelihood of production: Incredibly unlikely